Hi Navjot, Better NOT to neuter your dog. But if you have made up your mind, then you can go through the following article and decide.
Deciding Whether and When to Neuter a Golden Retreiver
Author: Rhonda Hovan
PO Box 1110 – Bath, OH – 44210
Phone: 330-668-0044 – Cell: 330-338-4236
Tags: age at neutering, golden retriever, when to neuter your dog, when to neuter your
Source: Article Bark:
http://www.articlebark.com/woo f.php?track_id=456&page=articl es&content=htt
A focus on the serious issues of pet overpopulation and unwanted puppies has led to the
common practice of neutering dogs prior to sexual maturity, often near the age of six months.
While this clearly helps reduce unplanned breedings and thereby may serve the public interest,
research is increasingly showing that it may not be in the best health interests of an individual
dog with a responsible owner. Breeds of dogs vary considerably with regard to their rate of
maturity and risk for specific diseases, and the interaction of these factors with natural hormones
should properly be taken into consideration when deciding whether and when to neuter a dog.
However, appropriately tailoring neutering recommendations to a breed requires awareness of the
ways in which neutering and the age of neutering affect specific breeds, and it may be impossible
for veterinarians to know this in detail for every breed.
Therefore, below is a review of health consequences to consider when deciding whether
and/or when to neuter a Golden Retriever. The term “Golden” will be used when the data are
specific to Goldens, and most of this data come from a large breed health survey scientifically
conducted and analyzed by a veterinary epidemiologist () The term “dogs” will be used when the
data are applicable to many breeds, and supporting references are provided. In some cases the
findings have been substantiated across many breeds, but relative risk is also defined specifically
for Goldens. The term “neuter” refers to either sex.
Please note that there are both health benefits and detriments associated with neutering
and various neutering ages, so decisions will need to balance these complex factors. It is relevant
to consider what diseases are more and less common in the breed, and also what diseases have
greater or lesser consequences to the dog, so that information is also provided. For example, it is
important with reference to cancer risk to know that 18% of all Goldens die from
hemangiosarcoma but that testicular cancer is rare (less than ½ of 1%), so that appropriate weight
can be given to the effect that neutering has on each of those cancers.
Health Consequences Associated with Neutering and the Age of Neutering
• Neutered dogs have a higher incidence of hypothyroidism than do intact dogs.
Male Goldens neutered prior to one year of age have an 80% increased risk of
hypothyroidism and female Goldens neutered prior to one year of age have a 60%
increased risk of hypothyroidism, as compared to those neutered after one year of
age or not neutered. Hypothyroidism is a common but treatable disease in the
• Neutered dogs have a greater incidence of hip dysplasia and torn cruciate
ligaments than intact dogs, and there is some evidence to suggest that this risk is
most pronounced in dogs neutered prior to sexual maturity. Hip dysplasia is
common in Goldens, and torn cruciate ligaments are less common but not rare.
Both of these diseases can be treated surgically, but treatment is costly and success
is variable depending on many factors.
• There is some evidence that the incidence of cardiac hemangiosarcoma is greatly
increased (2-5 times) in neutered dogs, and that the risk of splenic
hemangiosarcoma may also be increased in neutered dogs. Hemangiosarcoma is
the most common cancer in the breed, causing the death of approximately 1 in 5
Goldens. Most of these tumors occur in the spleen, with fewer but still a
substantial number in the heart. This is a rapidly progressing and incurable cancer.
• Several studies indicate that the incidence of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) is
significantly higher in neutered dogs than in intact dogs, but there is some
evidence that this increase is not as great when neutering occurs after sexual
maturity. This cancer affects about 5% of Goldens, and is not curable.
• Dogs neutered prior to sexual maturity grow taller than their natural genetic
potential, and their bone structure is altered toward a more narrow, lanky
appearance. Taller Goldens have shorter life spans than shorter Goldens. Among
male Goldens, the shortest males live 2.2 years longer than the tallest males; and
among female Goldens, the shortest females live 1.1 years longer than the tallest
females. It is unlikely that neutering a Golden prior to sexual maturity will alter
the dog’s potential height from extremely short to extremely tall, but it will make a
noticeable difference in height and thus potentially in life span.
• Neutered females have a greatly increased risk of urinary incontinence as
compared to those not neutered, but there is some evidence that this increased risk
is less significant for dogs neutered after sexual maturity. Urinary incontinence is
neither common nor rare in Goldens, and can often (but not always) be treated
• Females neutered prior to their first heat cycle have less than ½ of 1% chance of
developing mammary cancer (breast cancer). In females neutered after the first
cycle but before the second, this risk increases to 4%. And if a female is not
neutered until after her second heat cycle, this risk increases to about 13%. If
detected early through regular mammary exams, most but not all mammary
cancers can be treated successfully with surgery and sometimes additional
• Males with one or more testicles located in the abdomen (cryptorchidism) are at
high risk for testicular cancer and should be neutered prior to 15 months of age,
which eliminates this risk. It is not necessary to neuter these dogs prior to sexually
maturity to avoid testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is rare (less than ½ of 1%) in
dogs with both testicles normally descended into the scrotum.
• Females that remain intact are exposed to a significant risk for pyometra (a life
threatening uterine infection) that rises with every heat cycle, particularly after the
age of five years. Pyometra is a common and rapidly progressing disease in
Goldens that must be diagnosed promptly to be successfully treated.
• Males that remain intact frequently develop an enlarged prostate gland (benign
prostatic hyperplasia) as they age, particularly over the age of seven years. This is
not a serious disease, and while it can sometimes be managed medically, neutering
affected dogs is curative. This is not to be confused with prostate cancer which is
uncommon in the breed, although more common in neutered males than intact
Taking all of the above factors into consideration, there is good evidence to support that it
is in the best overall health interests of the dog to neuter female Goldens after sexual maturity, at
approximately one year of age. This typically allows a female to have one heat cycle but not two,
which keeps the risk of mammary cancer low while still providing her with some important
health benefits gained by maturing with natural hormones. Of course, the female must be kept on
leash or securely fenced away from males for the full three weeks of her heat cycle to avoid
unwanted pregnancy, so this should not be undertaken unless the owner is able to be certain that
there is no possibility of an accidental breeding.
There are no clear significant health benefits to neutering a normal male, so this decision
should be based on factors other than the health of the dog, such as preventing unwanted
breedings, reducing the risk of male-to-male dominance/aggression, and reducing roaming
behavior and urine marking. If a male is going to be neutered, there is good evidence to support
that it is in the overall best health interests of the dog to neuter male Goldens after sexual
maturity, at approximately one year of age. Neutering a male after two years of age has less
impact on behavior, so if behavioral considerations are important to the owner, neutering should
be done prior to the age of two.